Fairy Tail Vol. #10 (Mania.com)

By:Christopher Nadolski
Review Date: Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Release Date: Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Erza Scarlet, the origins issue.

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Hiro Mashima
Translation: William Flanagan
Adaptation: William Flanagan

What They Say
Erza Scarlet is the most kick-butt woman wizard in Fairy Tail, but in the past this indomitable fighter was . . . a slave? Now she finds out that her old companions have completed the evil device they were forced to build while held in slavery: the Tower of Heaven. What's more, their wicked master requires a sacrifice: Erza!

The Review!

So who is Erza, I mean really? Sure, we've seen her take charge of the Fairy Tail squad with decisive, S-class leadership, command some wickedly cool magic, and sport an impressive array of eccentric, cosplayable armor outfits. But as Lucy observes, "when you think of it, we don't know the first thing about who Erza is". True, Lucy, true. Well, book #10 addresses that, with a good half of the volume's content going to flashbacks of Erza's gritty childhood past.
This all rises to the surface upon the arrival of Erza's now nefarious childhood crew, come to reclaim her for the unsavory honor of being a sacrificial capstone in their dastardly plot to resurrect the evil wizard Zeref. Fronting said operation is Jellal—Erza's former inspiration—gone unhinged lunatic. Through flashback, we witness the increasingly divergent paths of young Erza and Jellal as they cope differently with the hardships of their slavery: Erza, being fueled by her hunger for freedom, rallies a brilliant slave revolt, while Jellal feeds on his growing hatred towards the oppressors and spirals downwards into dark obsession. Back in present time, Erza prepares to face Jellal, perhaps once and for all. Stay tuned for the epic confrontation! Also, be sure to check out LucyXNatsu in their wacky romantic farce of a side story along with several pages of other extras at the end.
In Summary:
There's plenty to like about Erza, and this volume wraps up a lot of her character in a nice, satisfying package. While the predictably-timed-expositional-flashback-formula is certainly employed here, earnest storytelling, convincing character motivation, and well portrayed circumstances provide plenty of opportunity to lose oneself in this engaging volume.

Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: A
Packaging Rating: B
Text/Translation Rating: B+
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Released By: Del Rey
MSRP: 10.99
Pages: 208
ISBN: 978-0345514578
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Fairy Tail